Neurodevelopmental Disorders (NDs) are commonly diagnosed during childhood, although in some cases they may not be noticed or diagnosed well into adulthood. NDs include a wide range of disabilities that may be experienced as difficulties with learning language, speech, motor skills, behavior, memory, and other neurological and brain development areas.
Studies report that approximately 15% of children (ranging ages 3 – 17) in the United States are affected by neurodevelopmental disorders, where they are more prevalent in boys than girls.
Although a wide range of disorders fall under neurodevelopmental disorders, here are some of the more common NDs we see at California Prime:
Clinically Reviewed by: Charee Marquez, LMFT
Review Date: 3/1/2023
Most cases of NDs have multiple contributors, ranging from genetic and biological factors, as well as physical and environmental factors.
Genetics, specifically epigenetics, have shown to be associated with intellectual disability and other psychological disorders.
Use of tobacco, alcohol or other drugs during pregnancy have been shown to cause certain neurodevelopmental disorders. Other environment related factors such as lower social and economic status may affect diet and health during pregnancy leading to preterm births, lower birth weight, and other complications leading to neurodevelopmental disorders.
Prenatal exposure to environmental contaminants such as lead, methylmercury and other polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been shown to create neurotoxic and neurodevelopmental effects such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, deafness and blindness, and a host of other disorders.
Although there are no cures for neurodevelopmental disorders, there are medical and therapeutic techniques that are effective in controlling some of the symptoms of neurodevelopmental disorders. Preventative care with respect to environmental conditions may also reduce occurrences of neurodevelopmental disorders. Complementary and alternative options such as wellness practices may also help alleviate some of the symptoms.
For severe instances of ADHD and Autism Spectrum disorders, physicians may prescribe medication, in addition to other treatment options.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and other counseling and therapeutic variations such as speech therapy and developmental therapy have often shown significant impact on neurodevelopmental disorders.
Yoga, mindfulness practices as well as other physical and recreational exercises have been shown to have a positive impact on neurodevelopmental disorders.
Changing the environmental conditions and improving prenatal care including regular health check ups during pregnancy have been shown to help early diagnosis leading to greater chances of a healthy, full term delivery.
If you are noticing any of the symptoms and behaviors described above in your child or yourself, consult your healthcare provider to obtain a diagnosis. Although neurodevelopmental disorders are not curable we have made significant progress in helping to alleviate some of the challenges caused by them, allowing many individuals to function well within society.
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